Cuba, Havana, North America

Get Your Fill of Art and Rumba Music at Callejón de Hamel.

June 7, 2011

When I was in Havana, Cuba there was only one place I loved more than Plaza de San Francisco. And that was  viewing the striking artwork and listening to live rumba performances one Sunday afternoon in Callejón de Hamel, a street in an area known as Cayo Hueso. It’s one of the best ways to experience authentic Cuban culture and take in the “preservation of local traditions at a community level“.

Stunning Graffiti

Afro Cuban artist Salvador González is responsible for the development of Callejón de Hamel, which is now a “shrine to both santería and the power of artistic vision“.

The street is a living art installation filled with the artist’s famous murals and various other stylized objects such as bath tubs and totem poles. Visitors can even browse his gallery and purchase artwork of their own at very affordable price.

Extra special is Sundays when there are live rumba performances that differ from the more traditional Spanish forms of rumba. Locals and tourists alike gather to watch the dancers and listen to the beats.

Me With a Local Man Dressed in a Traditonal Afro Cuban Outfit

The concert is free, but as a tourist you will be asked to offer up a small donation for the pleasure of taking in their unique performance. Don’t let yourself be hustled too many times (they will continually ask you for money every 10-15 minutes), but do give some money to people who live on so little.  Especially when you’re taking tons of photos and videos like me.

While I could say so much more about my delightful Sunday afternoon spent at Callejón de Hamel, I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.

Bath Tub in the Sky

José Martí Memorial That Rivals Plaza de la Revolución.

Bath Tub Art

Art That Tells A Story

Bath Tub Benches

Beauty in Every Day Things

Callejón de Hamel in Central Havana

Nontraditional Rumba Performances

Evoking African Tradition and Remembering the Past

Bold and Beautiful

Not The Ideal Phone Booth for Clark Kent

A Community of Art and Progress

A Totem Pole in Havana

Guarding a Little Courtyard

Rumba Performers

A Tribute To Afro Cuban Culture

The Magic of Callejón de Hamel

Locals and Tourists Mingle to Enjoy the Art

An Advertisement for Benjamin Moore

What's Art Without a Che Tribute?

Be sure to learn more about Cuban rumba performances and how to find out the exact location of Callejón de Hamel.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Forget the Resorts! Stay at a Casa Particular While in Cuba. | cherylhoward.com June 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

    […] Where I’ve Been Get Your Fill of Art and Rumba Music at Callejón de Hamel. […]

  • Reply My Seven Links for cherylhoward.com | cherylhoward.com July 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    […] Get Your Fill of Art and Rumba at Callejón de Hamel. Go to a place that few tourists don’t know about and hang out with locals in Havana to see locally produced artwork and live Afro Cuban rumba performances. […]

  • Reply Even If You Like Hemingway, Avoid the Tourist Trap. | cherylhoward.com July 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    […] Try staying at a casa particular instead of a hotel. Walk along El Malecon at sunset. Check out a live rumba performance at Callejón de Hamel. Do something, anything, other than visit either of those two […]

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